UNICAL VC says suspended Law Faculty Dean to refund all money extorted from students


The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), Professor Florence Obi, said the embattled Dean of the Faculty of Law, who is now suspended, would refund to the last kobo all money illegally extorted from UNICAL students.

According to the VC, the alleged sexual harassment, lack of accountability, and abuse of office against Professor Cyril Ndifon were being investigated.

Addressing journalists in her office, on Monday, she said: “‘Today, I am before you with mixed feelings; feelings of sadness, that, we are on the headlines globally over a seemingly ignominious issue and on the other hand slightly glad that we have a glorious opportunity to set things right as it affects our work ethics and cherished values in the University.

”0n August 14, 2023, an event took place in our University which put the University in the spotlight and drew the most unusual attention and concern from individuals, families, groups, institutions and our alumni.”

“Today, owing to the furor that it has generated, it has become necessary to state the facts as it were. It is the salient facts that will check the disturbing sentiments being expressed in the public domain, checkmate the falsehood being perpetrated in some quarters and stem the tide of a worrisome danger capable of grounding us as an institution.

“Be informed that on Thursday, August 10, 2023 some Law students led by their President came to see me in my office on some certain improprieties going on in the Faculty.


” A formal petition was presented. Based on the issues raised, some of which were not strange to Management, we decided to meet with the senior academics of the Faculty of Law (Senior Lecturers and above including the Dean and Sub Dean), on Monday the 14th in the Vice-Chancellors Conference Room. It should be noted that Management have had to meet with all the academic staff of the Faculty on the 30th of May (in their Faculty Moot court) on some of the issues raised by the students.

On Monday, while the meeting was going on, we were informed that the students were protesting outside the Administrative block. We all agreed three leaders be brought in to address us on their grievances. The students took the floor and raised several issues that bordered mostly on accountability, abuse of office, extortion, and sexual harassment which seemed to gain more prominence than others in the public domain.

“After stating their issues and registering their pains, the students were requested to go back to the Faculty with the assurance from the Vice Chancellor that their matter will be given utmost attention.

“However, to assuage the rest of the demonstrating students, and as is the practice of the Vice Chancellor to personally address demonstrating students, Management put the meeting briefly on hold for the Vice Chancellor to address the students.

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The Vice Chancellor while addressing the protesting students, assured them that all issues raised will be addressed.

The meeting of Management with the Senior Staff of the Faculty continued thereafter. The interface was also revealing and helpful as other matters not touched by the students were brought to the fore. This had to do with Senate related matters.

The VC added that the Management resolved with the staff on the need for some basic changes to be effected, to avoid continuous over bearing influence and power of any Dean of Faculty of Law over the students.

Some of the immediate actions taken according to her were: Setting up of a Committee to take charge of students’ mobilization to Law School; a review and possible recall of the students’ list sent to Law School, Removal from office of the two examination officers and the setting up of a Result getting Committee; setting up Students’ Project Committee to assign Project supervisors to the undergraduates; setting up of Admission Committee to review Direct Entry Admissions; Setting up of a Committee to update the existing Standard Operations Procedure(SOP) of the University to take care of the peculiarities of the Faculty of Law, for senate approval.

“Others include: Appointment of a new Sub-Dean, appointment of a new interim Chairman of the Faculty’s Post Graduate School Board; setting up a Committee to review and assign courses for the semester in compliance with the University procedure on Quality Assurance.


“The Dean and the Sub-Dean were directed to submit all the result scripts, questions papers, marking guides and examination attendance lists for the past two sessions to the Director of Quality Assurance; he Dean to refund all illegal monies extorted from the students under various sub-heads, among other decisions.

“Management after observing that the Dean of the Faculty was at the Centre of all the complaints and aberrations, issued the Dean with a 10-point query to be responded to within 24 hours. This was to give him a good opportunity to effectively refute the allegations or State why Management should not take the allegations of the students seriously. When he responded, his submissions in the eyes of Management were thoroughly weak and not convincing. Management was left with no other option than to set up a panel to conduct investigation. It is obvious that the Dean cannot be in office while the investigation is on, hence going by the Public Service Rules, he has been placed on suspension to allow a free investigation.

“Aside from the few staff of the University that will form the panel, management has acceded to the request of UNICAL alumni, Federation of Female Lawyers.”

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